STC reportedly opened discussions to reduce its $2.4 billion offer to acquire a 55 per cent stake in Vodafone Egypt, as a deadline to move forward with its initial bid nears.

Bloomberg reported the Saudi operator is now actively engaging with Vodafone Egypt to reduce the price, which it initially agreed in late January.

It first hit the pause button on the proposed deal in April, halting negotiations with banks regarding a $2 billion finance package due to the impact of the Covid-19 (coronavirus) pandemic on its business.

In July, STC then extended a memorandum of understanding on the deal by 60 days, again blaming the disruption caused by the health crisis.

STC’s initial offer gave Vodafone’s Egyptian unit a total enterprise value of $4.35 billion, with the remaining stake held by state owned Telecom Egypt.

Aside from agreeing a new price, Telecom Egypt’s stake could also prove problematic for STC.

When revealing its Q2 financial results last month, Telecom Egypt said it was considering its strategic options for its Vodafone holding, which could include selling it or potentially rivalling STC to buy the remaining shares.